Thursday, December 07, 2006
Species and Organs That Suddenly "Appear" in the Fossil Record
Apart from some tantalizing Devonian fragments, insects first appear suddenly in the fossil record at the very beginning of the Late Carboniferous period, Early Bashkirian age, about 350 million years ago. Insect species were already diverse and highly specialized by this time, with fossil evidence reflecting the presence of more than half a dozen different orders. Thus, the first insects probably emerged earlier in the Carboniferous period, or even in the preceding Devonian. Some have even suggested they originated from a terrestrial ancestor not later than in the Late Silurian or the Earliest Devonian. Research to discover these earliest insect ancestors in the fossil record continues.
National Geographic 11/06:
"And yet, as he (Darwin) wrote to a friend in 1879, flowers were for him an "abonimable mystery". Darwin was referring the the sudden, unheralded emergence of flowers in the fossil record. Making the mystery all the more abonimable was the exquisite complexity of flowers.
http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/features/0400_feature1.html regarding heart evolution:
They’ve also discovered that the change from simple tube to complex, chambered organ may have happened in an evolutionary flash.
"Fossil birds appear in the rocks out of nowhere." (National Geographic Special, Dec. 06)
This is only a short list of the species and organs that appear in the fossil record "in a flash"; not like Darwin had envisioned.
Was Darwin himself more honest than his worshipers today? In Darwin's own words:
"The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory." (Darwin, Charles, Origin of Species, 6th edition, 1902 p. 341-342)